Backstage Pass with The Lilac Quartet

(Rochester, New York) – The Lilac Piano Quartet performs live during Backstage Pass, Friday, July 5, 2013 at 1 p.m. on Classical 91.5. RPO members Thomas Rodgers, Lisa Steltenpohl, Vanessa Fadial and Kathy Kemp make up the quartet. They will perform music from Brahms and talk with Backstage Passhost Julia Figueras about how they formed the group and details about the music they play.


Backstage Pass is a live, hour-long radio series that is committed to highlighting performing artists – giving Classical 91.5/90.3/FM-HD 91.5-1 listeners the opportunity to hear local and visiting musicians performing live. The series is made possible in part by a grant from the Gouvernet Arts Fund at Rochester Area Community Foundation. You can also watch this edition of Backstage Pass online at:

More about the performers:

Kathleen Murphy Kempis Assistant Principal Cello for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and has been a member since 1977. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and received the Bachelor of Music and Master Degree in performance. She also earned the Performers Certificate. Her teachers include Ron Leonard, Alan Harris, Jeff Holm, Gabor Rejto and Robert Newkirk. She participated in master classes with Gregor Piatagorsky and Janos Starker. Kathleen serves on the collegiate faculty of Eastman and is the co-coordinator of the Orchestra Studies Diploma Program. She is also an instructor of cello in the Eastman Community Ed Division and at the Hochstein School of Music. In addition to numerous solo and chamber music recitals, Kathleen has performed with the Society for Chamber Music, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, the Skaneateles Music Festival, the Fortissimo Music Festival, the Roycroft Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and Sarasota Festival. As a strong advocate for music education, Kathleen served over 10 years on the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Board, and during her tenure developed the Mentor Program (RPO musicians coaching RPYO students). She is also co-founder of Chamber Music at the Hochstein School.


Vanessa Fadial is a breathtaking pianist whose warmth and endearing personality shines through all her solo and chamber music performances. In New York City, she was on the roster of the Golden Key Salon Series at Klavierhaus; was a member of the New York–based chamber group the Circadia Ensemble; and performed with her trio in 2011 on the Trinity Concerts at One series at Trinity Church, Wall Street. Dr. Fadial’s faculty artist concerts at the Third Street Music School Settlement in Manhattan, where she taught for over a decade, became full-house events marked by stimulating programs and the high quality of the guest artists. In addition to a DMA from Stony Brook University, she also has degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin Conservatory. A Rochesterian since July 2012, Dr. Fadial is on the piano faculty at Hochstein School of Music and Dance as well as Allendale Columbia

Thomas Rodgers, a native of Anderson, Indiana, joined the first violin section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in March of 2012. In May, he completed a Master of Music degree in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra.  He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (graduated summa cum laude), where he studied with Alexander Kerr, former concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Thomas began studying the piano at age five with his father and started violin lessons at the age of six.  During his high school days as a member of the Indiana University Violin Virtuosi directed by Mimi Zweig, Thomas performed with the group in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.  He is the winner of the Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music Concerto Competition and Kuttner Chamber Music Competition, the Indianapolis Symphony Side-By-Side Concerto Competition, the MTNA Jr. High String Competition, the Chamber Music Fellowship sponsored by the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and is the winner of various young artist competitions in Indiana.  He has attended a number of summer festivals including the Pacific Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, the National Arts Centre Young Artists Programme directed by Pinchas Zukerman, Encore School for Strings, and Meadowmount.  In the fall of 2012, Thomas joined the faculty of the Kanack School of Music in Rochester.   

Lisa Steltenpohl, from North Barrington, Ill., is a recent additon to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.  Ms. Steltenpohl is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. She has appeared as soloist with the Waukegan Symphony, the Kishwaukee Symphony, and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with other ensembles including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.  Lisa has spent past summers at Yellow Barn, Pacific Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Kneisel Hall, and Aspen.  Her teachers have included Roberto Diaz, Misha Amory, Stephen Wyrczynski, and Desiree Ruhstrat.

Pictured: Kathy Kemp (l-top), Thomas Rodgers (r-top), Lisa Steltenpohl (l-botoom), and Vanessa Fadial (r-bottom)


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